AAR
Click here for full forums index
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
 
Book Series That End

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    AAR Forum Index -> Romance Potpourri Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Terese



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 250

PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:58 am    Post subject: Book Series That End Reply with quote

Over on the RtR board there's an interesting discussion about the Anita Blake series going. Some us of feel that the series should have been brought to a graceful close 6 or 7 books ago. Niftybergin summed up my feelings about series in general in a beautiful way. She said:

It's hard to let go of characters in whom I've spent years getting emotionally invested, but for me it's more satisfying to walk with those characters to the end of their story and say a sad farewell than to get bored and impatient with them along the way and quit out of sheer frustration. Give me a series that ENDS, and I'll turn that last page, heave a happy sigh, and immediately start over at the beginning again, as in love with the characters and story as ever.

Since writing series is hugely popular it seems that nearly every book out there is the beginning or middle of a series. But how many series are actually brought to an end? Do authors even have an end planned for their series? I actually tend to enjoy reading series. They are about people I may already know, in a world or setting I have already gotten to feel at home in. I know the rules so I feel comfortable there. It's good to see old friends. But sometimes the series drags out forever, and either the author screws with my mind by changing the characters' personalities or the writing quality falls off or I get bored.

Here are a few examples of what I think are series that need to end. Anita Blake: I am actually offended by Anita Blake now, as if the author has personally insulted me by changing the direction I thought the series was going. Dark-Hunters: This has gone on way too long, and even tho I really enjoyed the early books in the series I am disappointed that the writing has fallen off. The Black Dagger Brotherhood: I have not completely given up on this series, but it's close. It seems that the books are moving away from the original romance premise.

I'd like to see more 3 or 4 books series that have a good ending. The 2176 series and the Crimson City series were interesting because they were written in the same world but by different authors. They were very different in characters, story and voice. I can think of several fantasy series that ended in a good way and like Niftybergin said, I can go back and re-read the series happily.

How do you feel about series?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
MMcA



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 671

PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm torn about the issue - when I read your post, I thought 'How true' but then I thought about the books I love - and I'd hate it if Pratchett had ended Discworld, or Laurie R King decided not to write any more Mary Russell books. And I'm thrilled Bujold is writing another Miles Vorksigan book even though the last one did read like a satisfactory ending to the series.

And, to argue the other side of the coin, readers don't always like endings. Was the last Twilight book really that much worse than the others? Was the last Harry Potter?
(What are the great last-in-series books? I liked the last Poirot - thought it was a clever end to the series.)
If you like the series, but hate the ending, can you go back and re-read the series happily, or does your foreknowledge of the unsatisafactory ending spoil that?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gail K.



Joined: 19 May 2007
Posts: 1292

PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love, love love the last chapter of Paullina Simons' THE SUMMER GARDEN. I read it as a comfort "excerpt" every once in a while. Those of you wary of a non-HEA for Tatiana and Alexander, fear not! Their romance is turbulent, but more "real," and they are both very fortunate that it survives.

-Gail


Last edited by Gail K. on Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jebe



Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 823
Location: Jersey

PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The two continuing character series that I've read are: the Heather Wells series by Meg Cabot and the Evie series by Beth Ciotta. Both of these series have been very enjoyable, romantic, chick-litish types. The characters really did develop naturally over the course of the different books. Having said that, I'm ready for both series to end. In both cases, I think the characters have gone as far as the can believably go for me.
_________________
Why put off til tomorrow what you can put off until next week?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Anna B



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 64
Location: NE US

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jennifer Roberson's Tiger and Del books (Sword Dancer series) have one of my favorite romantic endings, period, for their sixth and final book, and for me it's an excellent comfort excerpt. I'm comfortable leaving them to their HEA, because goshdarmit, they've earned it.
_________________
Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with a gorgeous redhead.

--Lucille Ball
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gail K. wrote:
I love, love love the last chapter of Paullina Simons' THE SUMMER GARDEN. I read it as a comfort "excerpt" every once in a while. Those of you wary of a non-HEA for Tatiana and Alexander, fear not! Their romance is turbulent, but more "real," and they are both very fortunate that it survives.

-Gail



Oh yes, Simons wraps it up well for all fans of Tatiana and Alexander. In Summer Garden, I only found the one part of their relationship turbulent, but thinking back on it (as I do), both characters are very passionate and that is exactly how they would react to that situation. Other than that...wow, these two just keep having the love scenes. I was surprised...but in a good way Laughing . One of my favorite scenes in this book is when Alexander comes in from the shed after working on something and breaks in on her Tupperware group of women. Seeing Alexander...all 6'5" of him, all muscular and sweaty. Ah, that was a nice moment in the book!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
willaful



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
Posts: 1552

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MMcA wrote:

(What are the great last-in-series books? I liked the last Poirot - thought it was a clever end to the series.)


Keep in mind, though, that she wrote it many years before it was posthumously published. Her writing had fallen off terribly towards the end of her career.
_________________
"'Happily ever after, or even just together ever after, is not cheesy,' Wren said. 'It's the noblest, like, the most courageous thing two people can shoot for.'" -- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gail K.



Joined: 19 May 2007
Posts: 1292

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

xina wrote:
wow, these two just keep having the love scenes. I was surprised...but in a good way Laughing


I can only hope to have their energy & stamina when I am old and grey. Heck, I'd settle for their level of passion next week. Wink

-Gail
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tinabelle



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 875
Location: SE Wisconsin

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have mixed feelings about series. I enjoy a good series and have many favorites. I tend to agree with others who prefer a series with a finite number of books that is planned in advance as a series vs one that just kind of morphs into a series without a definite plan or plot direction.

I think Nora Roberts is an author who does the planned finite series very well. Some of my favorites are: The Stars of Mithra, Chesapeake Bay, Born In..., Key trilogy, the Gallaghers of Ardmore, In the Garden, and Three Sisters Island. Other recent series I liked include Robyn Carr's Virgin River, Susan Carroll's The Dark Queen, and Kasey Michaels' Romney Marsh. All were planned with a limited number of books and worked for me. You got to know the characters very well and the stories were very much interrelated. I like it when the books in the series are actually one story told in 3-4 separate parts and can be looked at as a whole piece of fiction.

However, I also get very attached to characters in a series and often hate to see a series end. And there is a comfortable feeling when you read about characters that you know intimately and truly like. It is like getting together with old friends when a new installment comes out.

I think it is possible for a good writer to succeed with a long running series and maintain the same quality of writing and keep a freshness to the stories and the plot. I think this works when there is a small group of core characters that are the center of each of the books. Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series falls into this category. J.D. Robb's In Death series would be another. I am also a fan of Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody mysteries and they continue to work well for me and I am on book #14.

What I am not really crazy about is a series where the cast of characters accumulates and each book becomes more like a long list of cameo appearances by every character in the series. I am not overly fond of series where the characters are brought back who have no real connection to the story or no real role to play in the development of the plot or the characters. Another series pet peeve is when a book serves no other purpose than to introduce/set up the next book in the line-up. These types of series can get old very quickly.
_________________
So many books; so little time!
www.shelfari.com/tinabelle
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An alternate history series (with a couple of nice romance elements) that ended -- satisfactorily -- is the six-volume Belisarius sequence by Eric Flint and David Drake, starting with An Oblique Approach and ending with The Tide of Victory.

Of course, it had a planned story arc from the beginning. It ended up with a couple of the planned volumes split in two when they grew, but it kept its focus on the target.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can only hope to have their energy & stamina when I am old and grey. Heck, I'd settle for their level of passion next week. Wink

-Gail[/quote]



No kidding! They're a bit like Energizer Bunnies, but I have to admit, that is one of the reasons I've always found them interesting as a couple. They have been just so single-mindedly attracted to one another in all 3 books at all ages...young, midlife, and older. *big sigh* Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
bbmedos



Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 274
Location: Western Kentucky, USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Book Series That End Reply with quote

Terese wrote:
How do you feel about series?


It all depends. Laughing

The way I see it, regardless of the genre, there are basically three types of series - episodics, story arcs and character spin-offs.

Episodics are generally about the same character(s) but each book is a complete story within itself. Think detective fiction. Story arcs are kind of self explanatory in that they're multi-book plot arcs regardless of how many characters involved. Character spin-off are where a different main character is the protagonist in each book who's connected to someone in a previous book.

Romance as a genre has made a staple of character spin-offs, usually linking them either by family or some type of community bond. Due to the fact that romance is about a main couple it probably always will feature spin-offs in some form or another. The problem is that in recent decades it's also made a killing off of threading half-hearted story arcs through some of these spin-offs too.

That's a problem because a story arc over multiple books is just like any other plot - it needs, no, it requires a beginning, middle and end to be totally satisfactory. Dragging a nebulous but supposedly important storyline out over a dozen or so books without any sure hope of completing it doesn't fit that requirement. And it frustrates readers to no end in the process.

To be fair, this is as much of a problem with, say, long-running fantasy and science fiction series but the difference is that with many of them the overall story arc is the main attraction. It's the reason the fans come back to buy the books. Fans aren't as likely to walk away in the middle of a series there if they know the author is still writing on it.

With romances about different couples each time, no matter how much we might say we won't, we can give up and toss the entire series against the wall in a fit of pique. Okay, we may go back and dig a favorite couple's story out of the pile, but still, the thought of "when is this thing going to end" is there all the same. Wink

I've personally been encouraged by the fact that many romance authors and publishers have started doing trilogies and duologies in the last several years. I've also noticed that many of them are going out of their way to make sure the books truly do stand alone when they know they want to write a lot in one character group. Or they break them into smaller sets - a trilogy here, a duet there and so on.
_________________
Bev(BB)
http://bevsbooks.com/notes/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    AAR Forum Index -> Romance Potpourri Forum All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group